You’re completely slammed at work, your co-worker Jim hasn’t taken a vacation in 5 years and your boss has been riding you to get a report finished by the end of the month. BUT, are you seriously considering not taking a vacation this year? I’m here to prove to you why that’s a poor decision and why, despite all the given circumstances, you should enjoy some time off from work.
First off, American workers on average receive less paid time off than other countries so let’s get some perspective here. According to the popular travel booking website Expedia.com, Americans receive an average of 14 vacation days per year, while the citizens of Canada get 19 days, Great Britain 24, France 39, Germany 27, and Australia 17. This seems a bit unfair if you ask me but then again, American workers are kind of addicted to their work.
What’s sad is that even with less paid time off, a recent study showed that American workers leave on average 3.2 days of unused time on the table. So not only are Americans given less time off but we also refuse to take the time we’re given! There’s something terribly wrong with this picture.
When asked why they let vacation days go unused, American workers stated that a heavy workload, negative attitudes from management and peer pressure prevent them from taking all of their earned paid time off. These are all legitimate reasons to FEEL as if you can’t take time away from your work but the truth is, taking a vacation is actually going to make you a more productive employee. Key findings from the before mentioned report indicate that the benefits of taking paid time off include:
- Improved productivity and better performing, more dedicated employees.
- Employees identify feeling less stressed and refreshed upon returning to work, after taking time off.
- better attitude toward work, and also enjoy improved personal and social lives as a result.
- These benefits are recognized by both senior-level management and rank-and-file employees.
- Three-quarters of managers reported returning to work recharged and refreshed, 50 percent said they were more focused, and 41 percent felt a lower level of stress after taking time off.
Think back to the last time you took time away from work and really, truly relaxed. How did you feel when you returned? Were you more stressed than before or did you come back with a fresh perspective and rejuvenated mind and body? Under which scenario do you think you would be a more valuable asset to your company?
a.) Overworked due to working 40+ hours a week, stressed because you can’t seem to get all your work done, tired because you get to the office early, leave late and work on the weekends, and not able to think clearly because your mind is swimming in a sea of thoughts about your all consuming work life
b.) Refreshed due to taking 40 hours away from work, relaxed because you were able to step back and enjoy life, energized because you actually got a decent amount of sleep, and sharp minded because you didn’t think about work and focused on other areas of your life
In my opinion, option B sounds like the winner. Work will always be there, it’s not going anywhere. Your life, health, and vitality will go away eventually. Even if you enjoy your work, you’re more likely to get burnt out if that is all you do. Step back and look at the bigger picture that is your life. Take time off; enjoy the things that matter to you now while you still can and forget what Jim thinks. He’s only doing the company more harm than good by not taking a vacation. Don’t be that guy/girl. Go make some memories and come back with a fresh mind to help your company reach its goals!
Author: Abby Gruber
Abby is the Marketing Strategist and Copywriter for Richwood Marketing. She enjoys helping businesses discover and promote what makes them unique as well as helping to capture those ideas in writing. Abby is responsible for maintaining Richwood Bank’s blog and is always open to hearing your ideas and suggestions. If you have a certain topic you would like covered, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.